Suu Kyi visit sign of mature relations

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-6-7 22:28:01

At the invitation of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of Myanmar's National League for Democracy (NLD), will visit China from June 10 to 14, leading a delegation of the party. Suu Kyi is an influential figure in Myanmar. Her experience of remaining under house arrest for over 10 years has shaped her political image. This week will witness Suu Kyi's very first visit to China, from which many observers see profound implications.

China and Myanmar are friendly neighbors. The exchange between the CPC and NLD during Suu Kyi's upcoming trip has sent a positive signal that friendly relations will not be affected by the complex domestic politics in Myanmar or Western interference.

China has always regarded Beijing-Nay Pyi Taw ties as beyond ideology. Myanmar also seems to be responding positively to China's posture. It is important for the China-Myanmar relationship to stay stable and be immune from Myanmar's political fluctuations. This trip will help consolidate the political basis for future bilateral ties.

After Myanmar started democratic reforms in 2010, there were quite a lot of discussions in the West, claiming that the country will turn to the US from its embrace of China. These opinions were supported by setbacks in major Chinese investments in dams and copper mines in Myanmar.

However, such a portrayal is obviously inaccurate and exaggerated. Democratic reforms have made Myanmar's politics much more complicated than in the junta era. The government is rapidly losing control over society. Western powers have therefore gained more space to incite resistance against Chinese-funded projects within the country.

Nevertheless, the fact that China is Myanmar's largest neighboring country is not going to change, and China will keep playing a crucial role in Myanmar's development. Myanmar has a lot at stake over whether Nay Pyi Taw can forge a stable and friendly relationship with Beijing.

China's relations with its neighboring countries haven't suffered substantially from each other's domestic political disturbances. Even though there are temporary small incidents, they turn out to be trivial in the big picture. No country's internal political disputes can pose a threat to its amicable relations with China. Beijing-Nay Pyi Taw ties are no exception.

There are different voices in China's public opinion over Suu Kyi, with some adoring her, and some disliking her. But these factors have not affected favorable interactions between the two sides.

China has developed mature strategic principles in dealing with relations with surrounding countries that welcome these principles.

Since the two countries' economies are mutually complementary, China and Myanmar are enjoying an upbeat outlook for bilateral cooperation. Meanwhile, Myanmar has the geographical advantage of lying between China and the Indian Ocean. Both internal and external factors make it hard for Myanmar to fall to the embrace of the US at the cost of abandoning China.

Suu Kyi will become a good friend of China. She has made some positive remarks about China over the years, and also showed a pragmatic attitude in disputes concerning Chinese projects.

Hopefully, her upcoming visit will help boost mutual understanding between the two countries and provide a new bridge for the future bilateral relationship.

The article is an editorial from the Chinese edition of the Global Times on Saturday.
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